Expert Review: Smith Mission MIPS Helmet · 2021

This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2020.

A snowboarder wearing the Smith Mission MIPS helmet.

Testing out the Smith Mission 2021 on the snowboard. All photos courtesy of Steph C.

Published on

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2020.

My Take

The Smith Mission MIPS Helmet is awesome. It fits well and is adjustable. This helmet is good for someone looking for a high-quality helmet to protect them through any condition.

Two skiers on a ski run, one wearing the Smith Mission helmet.

Skiing out west with the Smith Mission helmet

About the gear

  • Model: 2021 Smith Mission MIPS Helmet
  • Size: L

About me

  • Height: 5’3”
  • Weight: 150 lbs
  • Head circumference: 60 cm
  • Goggles: Giro Ella
  • Experience: 20 years of snowboarding/skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this helmet: October 2020
  • Days tested: Nov. 2020-Present (53 days)
  • Where I’ve used it: Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, NY, and Sun Valley, ID.
  • How I’ve used it: Resort skiing and backcountry

How it performs


What I was looking for

I was looking to get all new ski gear. My old hamlet was about 10 years old, and I was looking to upgrade the technology to keep me better protected. I was looking for something adjustable but still had great protection at a reasonable price.

Why I chose this gear

This helmet checked all of the boxes. It's affordable, comfortable, and offers great protection. I had considered the Smith Mirage and the Smith Vantage but decided on the Smith Mission instead.

Three skiers wearing helmets and goggles on a chairlift at a ski resort.

This helmet being put to the test!

What I love about it

  • Protection: This helmet does a good job of protecting me during falls. The MIPS design offers more protection during rotational forces and is built as a one-piece construction, making it durable.
  • Comfort: It is very comfortable as it can be adjusted to give me the best fit possible.
  • Sizing: It comes in standard sizing options. It was not hard to find the right one after trying my choices on.
  • Fit system: There is an adjustable dial fit for easy, on-the-go size adjustment.
  • Liner: The liner is light and has held up for two seasons so far.
  • Breathability: There are 14 vents that can be opened with just one hand using a slider on the top of the helmet.
  • Earpads: There are removable Snapfit ear pads that add warmth and are audio-chip compatible. I have not used them with drop-in speakers, but I believe I can do that. I’ve used earbuds, and they are comfortable inside the helmet.
  • Goggle compatibility: Smith will say that only Smith’s goggles are compatible with the helmet. My Giro Ella goggles fit just fine with no gap. They are easy to take on and off but stay secure while moving. They rest just fine on the front of the helmet, making it easy to take off for a second.
  • Weight: 16.9oz. It feels light while wearing it. I can barely tell I have it on.
  • Durability: It’s very durable due to the MIPS technology. The finish has held up pretty well.
  • Quality of Materials: The materials are premium. They make the overall helmet very resistant to outside forces.
  • Style: It is a low-profile helmet. I like this design. I think it fits well and allows the goggles to take up more of my face.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Other: I haven’t had any issues with the helmet so far. One thing that bothers me a little is that the ear pieces are thick for what I like. They are comfortable. I just prefer mine to be slightly less thick.

Favorite moment with this gear

The helmet protected me a lot this past season when I tried snowboarding for the first time after skiing for 20 years. I hit the ground hard a couple of times, and the helmet did a great job keeping me protected.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Smith Mission MIPS model is actually pretty reasonable ($130-$140). Some helmets can get expensive fast. I think this helmet is a great price for its technology. The Bolle Adult RYFT MIPS Snow Helmet is around $220 as is the Giro Women's Strata MIPS Snow Helmet. The Salomon MTN Lab Helmet runs for about $200.

Final verdict

I believe this helmet is a good investment. It is very durable and will withstand many falls while being comfortable enough to wear all day long.

Selling Smith Optic on
Smith Mission MIPS Helmet · 2021
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I've been skiing for 20 years now. I started skiing when I was around 2 years old and fell in love with the sport. Skiing has always been a huge part of my life and has brought so many good memories with family and friends. When we are out on the hill we are having such a great time and it brings us...

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